Famous Music Artists Who Got Their Start in Austin, TX

While some contemporary music fans might only recognize Austin, Texas as the home of the popular South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, the city is steeped in musical history with many top performing artists getting their start there. Here are just a few of the most well-known and noteworthy musicians who have called Austin home.

After reading this list, you may find yourself looking for houses for rent in Austin TX to relocate. And you can also read about the top musical acts of the 1930s here.

Willie Nelson


Nelson is one of the most recognized and successful country music stars to ever grace the stage. He’s been making music professionally for over 60 years but that’s not the only thing he’s known for. He is also an accomplished actor having acted in 30+ movies, written multiple books, and is an activist in support of marijauana legalization.

Janis Joplin

Though Joplin died 50 years ago at the young age of 27, from a heroin overdose, she continues to be a top-selling musician here in the United States. She has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest artists of all time and one of the greatest singers of all time. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, posthumously, in 1995.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

While his career was short-lived due to a helicopter crash, Vaughan is regarded as an influential musician in blues and considered to be one of the best guitar players of all time. His music continued to sell long after his untimely death and has amassed more than 15 million albums in the United States alone. In 2015, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his bandmates.

Lucinda Williams


Williams has many awards and honors to her credit, from being named the 79th greatest songwriter of all time by Rolling Stone to being ranked on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll in 1998. She is a Grammy Award winner and has multiple Gold certified albums in her catalog.


This American indie rock band got their start in Austin, Texas in 1993. Their music is described as indie rock, experimental rock, indie pop, and even psychedelic at times. Spoon has released nine albums on various record labels throughout their history.

The Chicks

Formally known as The Dixie Chicks, this band has won 13 Grammy Awards and is recognized as the best-selling female band and best-selling country group having over 27.9 million albums sold in the United States alone. The band has eight studio albums including an additional four recorded live or compiled from hits.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Formed in 1974, this American blues rock band has seen many lineup changes over the years. They have 14 albums in their catalog, including 10 compilation albums, and two live albums.

Asleep at the Wheel

This American country music band has released more than 20 albums in their career and boasts more than 20 singles on the Billboard country music charts. To date, they’ve been awarded nine Grammys. Though not originally from Austin, they followed the advice of Willie Nelson and relocated in 1974.

If you’re native to Austin, which musicians would have made your list? If you want to know the artists who changed the music industry, click the link.